The Chicago Blackhawks came into the weekend on a long losing streak that they so desperately wanted to end. You can root for them to have the best possible draft status as possible but losing that many in a row is never fun.
With the two New York teams on deck, it was never going to be easy. It started on Saturday night with the New York Rangers hosting the Hawks at Madison Square Garden. Coming into the year, the Rangers were perceived to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
They haven’t been bad but they certainly haven’t lived up to that bill either. We saw why against the Hawks as they beat them to snap an eight-game losing streak. They beat them pretty handily too as they won 5-2.
It wasn’t a game that had no fireworks either. When the Hawks were up 3-0, Rangers captain Jacob Trouba decided to lay a dirty hit on Andreas Athanasiou and Jonathan Toews came to his rescue.
Toews fought Trouba who was clearly trying to get his team going because they’ve been one of the biggest disappointments in the NHL so far.
Patrick Kane led the way offensively along with Max Domi as they each had three points in the big win.
The Chicago Blackhawks got what they needed out of the New York tip.
A day later, things didn’t go as well for Chicago. They went down the road to play the New York Islanders who are a different type of team than the New York Rangers.
Coming into the year, people expected the Islanders to be a bounce-back type of team after a disappointing 2021-22 campaign but they have been even better than that. The Islanders are every bit as good as we thought the Rangers would be up to this point.
Again, they showed why against the Blackhawks as they outshot them 40-21 and pulled out a 3-0 victory. It was the type of game that showed why the Blackhawks will be a lottery team because they were just plain brutal.
With the way that things have been going, most fans would have signed up for a weekend New York split. Each team is good but the Hawks were able to get one from the weaker of the two.
Now, things get even harder as they are heading down to take on the NHL team with the most points in the New Jersey Devils. At 20-4-1, the Hawks will need their best effort of the season in order to beat a team like that with this roster.